Hundreds of kilometers from Mexico City, in Guerrero, the setbacks of the electoral campaign are experienced in a different way than could be expected.
There is little more than a month left for citizens to go to the polls in the largest elections in the history of Mexico and tensions in the state grouping of Morena, the party of President López Obrador, do not diminish.
They are going up.
The appointment of Evelyn Salgado Pineda as a candidate for governor to replace her father, the controversial Félix Salgado Macedonio, far from calming spirits, has deepened internal divisions.
Félix Salgado announces his daughter as a candidate for governor of Guerrero, in pictures
More than 30% of state councilors in Guerrero, out of a total of 80, disagree with the express appointment of Salgado Pineda after the Electoral Court left his father out of the race for not presenting a report with the expenses of pre-campaign. The Morena leadership has closed ranks around the candidate and appeals to the unity of all its voters to sweep the next elections with a massive vote for the party, whoever the candidate is. The decision through an express poll, however, has fallen like a bucket of cold water on the groups that are not aligned with Félix Salgado Macedonio and discouragement is spreading. “They have not taken into account the militancy. In Morena we have women and men of real struggle who have traveled the State.They are nothing more than impositions of the old corrupt style that we did not want and the same or worse is being done, ”says a militant from the Morena bases in Guerrero who assures that Salgado Macedonio has taken over Morena in the state. "He will win, but not the desired way," adds another party source in Guerrero who prefers not to give his name. "Morena is not Felix."
The figure of President López Obrador has become the great omnipresent during Morena's quarrels, with the purpose of leaving behind the disagreements and appeasing the spirits. Although the party cannot hang on to the president's name due to the electoral ban, his charisma and message are so internalized that the party's leader, Mario Delgado, refers to him at rallies and advertisements as: "you know who."
Those few words serve to activate memory and appeal to the massive vote that the president obtained in Guerrero during the last elections of 2018, where he swept 1.2 million votes. The State was one of the first entities to take advantage of the new government's subsidy policy for the vulnerable population and currently one in three families are beneficiaries of López Obrador's priority programs. Battered by violence and drug trafficking, Guerrero is one of the most vulnerable states in the country with very high rates of poverty and inequality, and AMLO has managed to print his personal brand on the state.
People visit the market of the Colonia Progreso del Puerto de Acapulco, in Guerrero, on May 2, 2021, a few weeks after the elections for the state governor and for multi-member councils took place. Nayeli Cruz
Added to these welfare support is the population's disenchantment with the PRD and the PRI, which have ruled for decades and are now running in a coalition with the same candidate, Mario Moreno Arcos. "Morena's directive is that the largest number of deputies and municipalities be won to take advantage of the suspicion that the majority of the population has of the PRD and the PRI," says a journalist from Acapulco who asks to remain anonymous. The desire to remove them from power and the hope in López Obrador result in Morena leading the polls with a 10-point advantage, even though he has not had a candidate for most of the campaign. "We are tired of the PRI that has stolen and killed a lot, we cannot allow them to continue in government," says Cristina Ramírez, 55. The woman assures that she will vote for Evelyn Salgado.
In the attempt to find the square of the circle, Félix Salgado Macedonio, a veteran politician and astute man, has managed to establish himself as López Obrador's ambassador in Guerrero. The president, in return, has done nothing but pamper him and defend him. Both have known each other since the founding of the PRD, at the end of the 1980s. Despite the controversy over having two complaints of rape and three others for sexual abuse, López Obrador has always affirmed that it is about "politicking" and things "of his own. of the electoral times ”against his candidate. The message has penetrated deeply in Guerrero and few people dare to speak of the subject. "For better or for worse, everyone knows who Felix is in Guerrero," says the source close to the party. “All women should be against him. Even his daughter, ”says René Otero,while enjoying a beef head taco at the Progreso market in Acapulco. “It is one of the stupidities of the law, to let the daughter be a candidate. We no longer suck our thumb. The one who is going to handle everything underneath is going to be him, ”says the 71-year-old retiree.
Far from his charisma, Salgado Macedonio has also sought to show himself as a social fighter, a victim of the electoral authorities, including the National Electoral Institute (INE) and the Electoral Tribunal, which removed him from the race for not presenting the report with expenses of pre-campaign. In his attempt at victimization, sources close to him assure that what is sought is to turn the page in the case of rapes, the scandal that has affected him the most in recent months. His biggest critics also point to the management he had as mayor of Acapulco (2006 - 2008) when the city experienced one of the worst times of violence. The tropical paradise became a hell and the citizens had breakfast with shootings and headless people in the streets. The terror that the narco sowed those years,it drove away tourism and affected Guerrero's economy.
Election announcements by candidates for multi-member councils and governor in the port of Acapulco in the State of Guerrero, on May 2, 2021. Nayeli Cruz
There are those who look with suspicion and distrust at the Salgado family, also of Evelyn Salgado Pineda, with little political experience to be the candidate for governor. At just 22 years old, her father appointed her president of the Acapulco DIF and during Governor Astudillo's administration she was a delegate of the Guerrero Women's Secretariat. "Evelyn received the contributions of the builders for the City Council through the DIF," says the journalist from the Port. Salgado Pineda is separated from Alfredo Alonso, son of Joaquín Alonso Piedra, an Acapulco businessman arrested at the end of 2016 and accused of being an operator of the Beltrán Leyva cartel in the city. "I don't like Salgado Macedonio, but I'm going to vote for Morena whoever the candidate is because I respect the president," says a taxi driver with more than 40 years in the profession.
Salgado Pineda has assured that if she comes to the Government, the decisions will be made by her, but that she will always have her father, with whom she is very close, her best guide.
"They are all the same, miss," says Don Amado, over 80 years old, who assures that he will not vote in the next elections.
“Well, it doesn't seem wrong to me that he takes his dad's advice.
Good leaders often make good decisions because they have someone to advise them, ”says the taxi driver.
Mr. Otero shows his respect for López Obrador, but says that he would never vote for Félix Salgado or Evelyn Salgado and that he has no choice but to give his vote to the PRI.
"Guerrero is full of caciques," he says before taking another bite of his taco.
"You choose at least scrubbed [at least bad]."
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